Feb 122022

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022

H League 1
Portsmouth 4
Doncaster Rovers 0



Pompey produced a ruthless second half display to blow away bottom-of-the-table Doncaster at Fratton Park.

The opening 45 minutes were distinctly forgettable, but it was a completely different story after the interval.

A firm header from Reeco Hackett opened the scoring and the lead was soon doubled by George Hirst.

Aiden O’Brien then came off the bench for his home debut and instantly found the net to leave Rovers deflated.

But there was still time for the superb Sean Raggett to head home deep into stoppage-time to double his tally for the week.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that saw off Burton, also on home soil, earlier in the week.

Marcus Harness returned in an unfamiliar wing-back role on the right, while Hackett occupied the opposite flag.

Skipper Clark Robertson came into the back three, as Connor Ogilvie, Mahlon Romeo and Denver Hume all dropped to the bench.

The contest took a while to liven up and half-chances were the order of the day for much of the first period.

Michael Jacobs was crowded out as he tried to get a shot away, while Josh Martin’s free-kick at the other end somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play.

The visitors were first to seriously threaten, courtesy of a Reo Griffiths effort that was gathered by Gavin Bazunu at the second attempt.

Louis Thompson then released Harness on the right and his low centre flew agonisngly behind three of his team-mates in the box.

But Rovers almost broke the deadlock on 26 minutes and it took an excellent Raggett clearance to deny them.

Matt Smith combined well with Tommy Rowe to tee-up Joe Dodoo, whose close-range shot was heading for the net until the Pompey defender managed to get it clear.

Jonathan Mitchell then made a couple of regulation saves to deny first Hirst and soon after the in-form Jacobs.

There was a moment of controversy just before the break when Ronan Curtis went down in the box under pressure from a couple of defenders, but referee Tom Reeves ignored his appeals.

Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Doncaster Rovers 0

Hackett swung in a great delivery shortly after the restart, with Joseph Olowu doing just enough to put off Hirst and stop the striker making a connection.

Raggett was then called upon to make another brave block inside the area, this time from Martin’s shot.

But it was the Blues who finally broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, when Harness swung in an excellent cross from the right.

Hirst was unable to get on the end of it, but HACKETT got above Kyle Knoyle at the back post to find the net with a bullet header.

And things got even better for the hosts just past the hour mark after Ben Jackson nodded the ball straight into the path of HIRST.

The striker superbly brought the ball under control and raced clear before squeezing a shot past Mitchell.

Cowley freshened things up with a substitution soon after, as Tyler Walker made way for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

With the pressure eased, Pompey started to play some neat passing football and a Jacobs curler was held by Mitchell following Tunnicliffe’s exquisite flick.

The hosts were looking to wrap things up and Mitchell just about managed to prevent Harness from finding the net from an acute angle.

January arrival O’Brien was handed a run out for the final 10 minutes, as Jacobs made way to warm applause.

And O’BRIEN marked his Fratton bow by putting the result beyond doubt just a few seconds later, beating Knoyle to bundle Curtis’ low centre over the line.

Cowley’s final switch saw the livewire Thompson make way for Ogilvie, but still the Blues looked to attack.

It took the fingertips to Mitchell to stop them scoring again, as he turned behind a long-range Curtis free-kick.

Doncaster looked like all their energy had been sapped clear and the Blues controlled the closing stages.

And they put the cherry on the cake right at the death, as a fine free-kick into the box by Hackett was firmly nodded home by RAGGETT.

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c); Harness, Thompson (Ogilvie 83), Jacobs (O’Brien 80), Hackett; Curtis, Harness, Walker (Tunnicliffe 67)
Goals: Hackett 56, Hirst 63, O’Brien 81, Raggett 90+5
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Webber, Romeo, Jewitt-White, Hume

Doncaster (4-1-4-1): Mitchell; Knoyle, Younger, Olowu, Jackson (Agard 70); Gardner; Griffiths, Smith, Rowe (c), Martin (Barlow 78); Dodoo (Odubeko 60)
Subs not used: Jones, Williams, Seaman, Clayton

Referee: Tom Reeves

Attendance: 14,767 (295 away fans)

Sep 282021

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022

A League 1
Burton Albion 2
Portsmouth 1



Pompey’s wait for a win continued as they slipped to a League One defeat against Burton at a soggy Pirelli Stadium.

The hosts twice stole possession from the Blues to score, with Tom O’Connor’s first half strike added to by Daniel Jebbison.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild came off the bench to reduce the deficit with a fine free-kick, but there was to be no equaliser.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that were unfortunate to pick up just a point at Charlton on Saturday.

There was one switch among the substitutes, however, as Arsenal loanee Miguel Azeez made way for Michael Jacobs.

It was the home side that made the brighter start and when a free-kick was only partially cleared, Michael Bostwick’s shot had to be turned around the post by Gavin Bazunu.

Jonny Smith then angled an attempt wide of the post before Jebbison saw efforts blocked by Kieron Freeman and Sean Raggett in quick succession.

But then it was Pompey’s turn to take control and when John Marquis rose to meet Mahlon Romeo’s cross, his header was saved by Ben Garratt.

Romeo then had a chance of his own after cutting inside from the right and hitting a fierce left-footed strike narrowly off target.

And a hooked Joe Morrell clearance up the pitch soon led to a race between Garratt and Ronan Curtis.

It was the keeper that just about got their first and although he made a mess of dealing with the danger, the ball would not fall kindly for the Pompey forward to capitalise.

Both sides were looking capable of breaking the deadlock as the first half progressed and the rain kept falling.

But it was the Brewers that did score on 32 minutes after stealing possession, with Lucas Akins squaring for O’Connor to fire home from the edge of the box.

And although it was Pompey who were on top as the interval approached, they could not find that crucial final ball to trouble their hosts.

Half Time

Burton Albion 1

Portsmouth 0

The contest did not spark immediately into life after the restart and the Blues were still struggling in the final third.

There was a chance when Lee Brown’s cross was flicked on by Curtis, but Romeo could not keep his hooked shot down.

Burton were not just sitting on their lead, though, and it took some last-gasp defending from first Freeman and then Raggett to deny them.

And it then required a superb diving save from Bazunu to keep out a swerving long-range strike from Charlie Lakin.

But the hosts did double their lead on the hour mark, as Pompey got caught in possession again and Jebbison took advantage by curling home.

Cowley immediately responded with a triple change, as Marquis, Freeman and Ryan Tunnicliffe made way for Ellis Harrison, Louis Thompson and Hackett-Fairchild.

It was the latter who got the Blues back into the contest, with HACKETT-FAIRCHILD’s fine free-kick flying into the net following a foul on Morrell.

That gave the large travelling army of fans reason to cheer – although they had barely stopped since the first whistle.

Burton kept looking to attack themselves and Lakin missed a great chance when the ball found him unmarked at the back post, only for the midfielder to swipe at thin air.

Bazunu then came to the rescue, using his legs to make a save when a ricochet sent Akins through on goal.

Pompey immediately launched a quick break up the pitch and Harrison took a tumble to the turf, but referee Tom Nield waved away his appeals.

And when the ball fell for Thompson on the edge of the box soon after, the substitute’s shot was deflected inches off target.

The game threatened to boil over in the closing stages, with a series of yellow cards being brandished by the rather fussy Nield.

A display of six additional minutes then provided some hope, but efforts from Thompson and Harness were blocked and time ran out for the Blues.

Burton (4-2-3-1): Garratt; Brayford (c), Bostwick (Leak 53), Shaughnessy, Hamer; Oshilaja, O’Connor; Smith, Lakin (Maddox 76), Akins; Jebbison (Hemmings 64)
Goals: O’Connor 32, Jebbison 60
Booked: Smith, Lakin, Jebbison
Subs not used: Balcombe, Borthwick-Jackson, Chapman, Patrick

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Freeman (Hackett-Fairchild 61), Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe (Thompson 61), Morrell, Brown (c); Harness, Marquis (Harrison 61), Curtis
Goals: Hackett-Fairchild 64
Booked: Raggett, Brown, Hackett-Fairchild, Harness
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Jacobs, Hirst

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 2,810

Aug 102021

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022

Millwall 2
Portsmouth 1



An early goal from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild was not enough to keep Pompey in the Carabao Cup, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Millwall.

And they had to play almost half the match with just 10 men following Callum Johnson’s red card early in the second half.

It was a fine effort from Hackett-Fairchild that broke the deadlock, but Scott Malone and George Saville netted in quick succession to give the Championship side an interval advantage.

Johnson was then dismissed for a late challenge, although Hackett-Fairchild almost snatched a late leveller for the Blues.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that won at Fleetwood in the league at the weekend.

Shaun Williams came in for his competitive debut against his former club, while there were also starts for Johnson and Hackett-Fairchild.

Lee Brown, Kieron Freeman and Marcus Harness all dropped to the bench and Connor Ogilvie reverted to his usual left-back position.

Ex-Fratton favourite Jed Wallace was handed a start by the home side, but Ben Thompson had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

Pompey made a perfect start to the contest, as HACKETT-FAIRCHILD roamed forward and cut onto his left foot before slamming home an unstoppable shot to open his account for the club.

The visiting support had been in fine voice from long before kick-off and that goal only served to whip them into more of a frenzy.

But Millwall grew into the game and started to enjoy more possession before levelling the tie midway through the first half.

Alex Bass got down to deal with an angled drive from Wallace, but Malone reacted quickest to fire the loose ball into the net.

And it soon got worse for the Blues after Sean Raggett had thrown himself into the path of a Tom Bradshaw effort.

The ball was recycled back into the box and Saville was left in far too much space to slot past Bass and turn the match on its head.

It might have got even worse for Pompey just before the break, as Ryan Tunnicliffe played a loose pass inside his own box.

Benik Afone was the grateful recipient of the ball, only for Bass to come to his team-mate’s rescue with a fine stop.

Half Time

Millwall 2

Portsmouth 1

Cowley made a switch at the break, with Leicester loanee George Hirst leading the line in place of John Marquis.

And there was plenty of controversy once the action got back underway, with Johnson at the centre of it.

First the defender appealed for a penalty when his cross appeared to hit an arm in the area, but referee Charles Breakspear.

And the official upset the Pompey right-back even more moments later, brandishing a straight red card for a challenge on Saville.

Cowley was forced into another change, with Gassan Ahadme the man to make way for Kieron Freeman.

Williams also made way just past the hour mark and received an ovation from both sets of supporters as he trudged off to be replaced by Michael Jacobs.

The game was drifting, with the Londoners content to keep possession, but the Pompey fans made their own entertainment in the stands.

They serenaded Thompson as he warmed up for the home side and asked for waves from both Cowley brothers.

Millwall had a chance to wrap things up on 76 minutes, with a firm header from substitute Matt Smith coming back off the post.

And Bass then came quickly off his line to narrow the angle for Mahlon Romeo and force the wing-back to shoot wide.

Pompey almost made them pay for their profligacy, as Hackett-Fairchild raced clear on the closing stages.

He eventually managed to squeeze a shot past George Long, only for a well-placed Ryan Leonard to head from the line and ensure the Lions would book their spot in the second round.

Millwall (3-4-1-2): Long; Leonard, Hutchinson (c), Cooper; Romeo, Kieftenbeld, Saville, Malone (Thompson 79); J.Wallace (Mahoney 66); Bradshaw (Smith 66), Afobe
Goals: Malone 21, Saville 27
Booked: Cooper
Subs not used: Bialkowski, Pearce, M.Wallace, Mitchell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Johnson, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe, Williams (Jacobs 61); Hackett-Fairchild, Gassan (Freeman 52), Curtis; Marquis (Hirst 46)
Goals: Hackett-Fairchild 4
Sent off: Johnson
Booked: Hackett-Fairchild
Subs not used: Bazunu, Mnoga, Brown, Harness

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 7,915 (2,000 Pompey fans)